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‘Dog to die a Dog’s death’ – The death of ‘ethical journalism’

February 16, 2011

The Tabloid press is known its (obvious) lack of ethics and objectivity. In particular, this raises serious concerns about ethical reportage on environmental and animal issues.

Writer: Meera Vijayann

Sometime last December, The Bangalore Mirror carried this story on a rabid dog being beaten to death by residents of a particular neighborhood alongside an image of a man literally dragging the dead dog on a motorbike. It wasn’t just the imagery that was horrifying but also the fact that the article  blatantly supported the act and completely overlooked deeper animal rights issues. It seemed to disregard that there are over a thousand stray dogs in Bangalore, ignored by authorities because of the lack of facilities to treat them and lack of animals centres to attend to them. What was worse was the way it defended cruelty to animals.

Two very important facts that it were missing in this ridiculous article:

1) NGOs like ABC (Animal Birth Control) and  CUPA ( Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) tend to stray dogs. CUPA has the largest number of wards that tends to Rabid dogs. It handles over 2100 dogs in a month ¹.

2) The number of stray dogs as in census year 2000 was 70,000. Dog bites and rabies cases have decreased in areas where ABC Programme is carried out².

Article 51(A)(g) of the Indian Constitution clearly states that it is fundamental Duty of all citizens to show compassion for all living creatures.”

Animal Birth Control Rules (2001) issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960,(PCA Act) prescribes sterilisation of all healthy dogs ad killing of sick and rabid dogs. These rules override all other laws, which are opposed to animals.”

While we all know that the Tabloid press thrives on obvious sensationalism, but it is a matter of concern that it packages information to misinform. This is something we should all be concerned about. Of the many people who find a copy of the Bangalore Mirror at their doorstep and devour all its sensational poppycock, imagine how many might actually believe it is perfectly fine to treat animals this way.

* 1 & 2 – Source: CUPA website

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 4, 2012 4:29 pm

    You’re absolutely right and this is worth saying again and again.
    Independent canine personages a.k.a “stray” dogs (they don’t stray like humans but have a superior sense of propriety and ethics) have as much of a right to live as we do.
    Misunderstandings between canine and human sometimes lead to bites. Non-human species shouldn’t have to pay for human inability to accommodate spend some time and energy finding humane solutions.
    The use of diclofenac on cattle, whose abandoned carcases are eaten by vultures, has killed off the majestic birds. The vultures would have also picked on some the stuff humans discard. Now the independent canine population has taken over that job.
    Humans have to do something about waste and about the abuse of drugs.

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